What About the Devil?
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1Peter 5:8-9)
PETER IS A STURDY, WELL-ROUNDED PREACHER AND PROPHET. He never got over being a rough fisherman. We are used to thinking of him in respectable apparel because artists picture him that way. He was also comfortable in no clothes at all as he plied his trade as a fisherman. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. (John 21:7) It’s not that he was disrespectful; for he was not. Neither was he crude.
BLUE JEANS, TEE SHIRTS AND NIKE SHOES had not yet been invented. A robe of some kind that came to or below the knee was standard clothing. If you were walking fast, threshing grain, fighting as a soldier, or in a boat fishing, a loose, hanging garment was in the way. You either tied it up and held it in place with a sash/belt or, in Peter’s case, you pulled it off and cast it aside.
OUR TEXT ONLY MENTIONS PETER AS BEING NAKED and that could reflect his aggressive personality that focused on the job at hand and eliminated all hindrances. He had an abundance of energy in everything he did. That’s the way he worked, the way he thought, and the way he talked. As we might say today: “Peter was a piece of work.”
WHEN PETER IS MENTIONED IN SCRIPURE WITH OTHER DISCIPLES, invariably, his name is first. It’s “Peter, James and John.” His name is never 2nd or 3rd. (If I’m wrong about this, please show me.) John is the deeper, more affectionate type. When Jesus was on the cross, He turned His mother over to John, not to Peter. Peter was the “mover and shaker” of the disciples. Jesus knew that when He chose Him as one of His disciples.
PETER'S WRITING STYLE REFLECTS HIS PERSONALITY. He is to the point, sparing with his words and drives ahead. When Peter writes, he’s going somewhere. He does not engage in meditation. He was writing to a wide audience, scattered all over the place. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, (1Peter 1:1)
WHILE HE WAS ALWAYS IN MOTION, he also had a strong love for His Lord. It hurt Peter deeply when He denied the Lord and told that little skirt that He “didn’t know the man.” When the rooster got through crowing, Peter went outside and wept. And he probably wept like he did everything else. He poured out his heart before God and shed all the tears he needed to.
“Peter may not have the discernment of John, but have you noticed that at every opportunity he gets close to the Lord? The other men sit in the boat and wait until they get to shore. Not Simon Peter. He can't wait. He wants to be close to his Lord. This man is a wonderful man.” (McGee)
HAVING SAID ALL THESE THINGS ABOUT PETER, we’re coming to the main point of our text today. “Be careful about the devil”. We’ve got a real, live devil among us that we have to contend with. He has bad breath and he’ll eat you alive if you don’t watch out for him.” To Peter, the devil was real.
PETER BEGAN HIS LITTLE BOOK BY ADDRESSING THE ELDERS of the church and then he turned to the young people, about how they were to think and act and be in submission to older people. When that is out of the way, he warns them to be sober and vigilant about the devil and to resist him through their faith.
THE DEVIL IS NOT THAT POPULAR CARTOON CHARACTER in a red suit and carrying a make-believe pitchfork. He is not Flip Wilson’s cute: “the devil made me do it.” The devil can’t make you do anything. But he has great power to deceive and influence people into disobeying God and even losing their souls in hell. Paul says he blinds the minds of people so they cannot think right. In whom the god (the devil) of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2Co 4:4) If people have been blinded by the devil, will they know it? Of course not! Not knowing they are blind is part of their blindness.
WE MUST REMEMBER THAT PETER IS WRITING PARTLY out of experience when he warns about the devil. And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (Luke 22:31-32)
SATAN WILL NOT TEMPT YOU AT YOUR STRONG POINT. Satan will always tempt you at your weakest point. Do you know your weakest point? Then, beware, for that is where the the devil will attack you to discredit and destroy you. And you are not the only one Satan is attacking. The devil is going after all of your brethren who are yet in the world. Be careful about jumping on the bandwagon of criticism of a brother who has fallen into sin. You may be next on the devil’s list of temptation.
THE DEVIL WILL DESTROY YOU IF YOU WILL ALLOW HIM. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer (allow) you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1Corinthians 10:13) I memorized this 60 years ago and it has helped me through many times of temptation by the devil.
HIS CHIEF WEAPON AGAINST THE SAINTS OF GOD IS DISCOURAGEMENT, to doubt God. Do not yield to the devil. Resist him. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7) Remember: Jesus said to Peter: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (Luke 22:32) Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
APRIL 27, 2018 – FRIDAY
A.M. 2Samuel 17-18 P.M. Luke 21:1-19
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APRIL 28, 2018 – SATURDAY
A.M. 2 Samuel 19-20 P.M. Luke 21:20:38
APRIL 29, 2018 - SUNDAY
A.M. 2 Samuel 21-22 P.M. Luke 22:1-30
Good Memory Verse:
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1John 5:14-15)
Song for Today:
I’ll Meet You in the Morning (2:58) – (Gaither Group)
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